My Wellness Philosophy: Balance
Navigating wellness isn’t always easy. It’s unique to each individual and demands our attention. It requires effort and a steadfast determination that extends beyond our everyday responsibilities. There are times when it’s easy and times when it’s really, really tough. There are times when we’re motivated and times when we just aren’t feeling it. There are days when it’s at the forefront of our minds and days when (if we’re completely honest) we could absolutely care less.
But the one thing we all know with certainty? It’s important.
Without wellness, our ability to live an abundant life is severly limited.
This is something I know first-hand, and it drives my passion for helping people balance the pursuit of their dreams – and the building of their lives and businesses – with strategies that support health, happiness and a deep sense of personal satisfaction.
My wellness philosophy comes from a profound personal journey of extremes spanning over four decades and countless experiences – some good and some bad. My vision of wellness may not be alignment with others, and it may not always be popular, but I believe in authenticity and the power of sharing stories with vulnerability and heart.
My Wellness Journey
My wellness journey goes all the way back to my days raising 4-H lambs and steers as a farm girl in western Colorado. Every day was a lesson in natural living – the good, the bad and the ugly. Meat came from the animals we hand-raised. Vegetables came from the gardens we tended. Fruit came from the acres of trees surrounding our home. Eggs came from the chicken coop in the backyard. Everything was grown & eaten with love.
When I was finishing elementary school and my parents divorced, my days at the farm were limited and a lot changed: schools, friends, and the only family I’d ever known. Within a year, my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She was 33. I was 10. My sister was 3. The active, healthy lifestyle we’d always lived came to a screeching halt.
In the year or so that followed, life changed dramatically. Mom fought like a warrior and in her will to live changed everything about how we ate: healthy oils, organic fruits and vegetables, little to no red meat, loads of fish, and mountains of teas, herbs & vitamins.
It worked. She recovered, remarried and re-engaged in the life she loved, but with a very different body type (the chemo, radiation and steroids took their toll). I was left with a skewed notion of what “health” and “wellness” were really all about.
Life continued on into junior high and high school. Mom stayed well. There were many adjustments for our new family – we lost some, but gained some – and through it all we stayed close and held on to each other. We created our own happiness.
When it was time for college, I chose a small, private school in southern Indiana and set off to begin my new adventure. Within months I was flown home, had to withdraw from classes and spent the rest of the year in bed with mono. Wellness didn’t prevail.
My second attempt took me to the University of Colorado at Boulder where I thrived in school, poured myself into medical and behavioral genetics, and fell in love with being physically active: downhill skiing, waterskiing, mountain biking, hiking, group exercise, and more. After graduation, I accepted a wonderful job with The Muscular Dystrophy Association in Phoenix and started applying to medical schools.
And then I got the call. The cancer? It was back. Crap.
My world turned upside down. My plans took a backseat. Dazed, confused, young and scared, I accepted an engagement proposal from my high school boyfriend, quit work, rescinded my applications, packed my car, and headed home.
The years that followed brought extraordinary lessons in what wellness IS and what wellness IS NOT. Shortly after arriving back home in the spring of 1994, Mom’s second remission was followed by her third and final diagnosis. The growths in her lungs were discovered in May. The wedding was in July. The funeral was in September.
Everything about life as I knew it changed. Forever.
And those crazy patterns of “healthy” eating? Back with a vengance. I could barely function after the loss of my mother, let alone eat. I decided fat was my enemy (yes, even fish, nuts, butter, avocado, and healthy oils) and the gym was my friend. It wasn’t long until I was training and teaching 20 or more exercises classes each week, in addition to working full-time and starting a family.
The first baby came a couple years later without major issue.
The second after several years of painful fertility treatments (my body was not healthy enough to support another pregnancy), but ended abruptly at 22 weeks.
I needed a wake-up call. Good nutrition – and learning to slow down – was that call.
It was amazing what happened – with my body and my brain – when I started a regimen of high-quality nutritional supplements and actually eating “real food” again.
It was like a light switch went off in my head. I could see clearly. I felt great. I even welcomed a beautiful, healthy daughter into the world.
My newfound clarity didn’t remove the pain from my past, or the pain I was about to experience as my marriage and several businesses came to an abrupt end. But I was eating more, exercising less, and finding ways to fuel my body and my brain with activities that brought me joy: time outside, time with my kiddos, time with friends, time exploring my passion and hobbies, and time to just be with me.
I found my smile again. I found me again. And I found love again.
In the years since – despite too many ups and downs to count – I have simply found a way to stay focused and to keep stepping forward. I have become a collector of experiences, both personal and professional, and have allowed those experiences to define what is most important to me in this big thing called Life: the meaning and importance of finding and sustaining balance in ALL areas of life.
The greatest lessons in true balance have come in the years since.
In raising my children. In growing a new relationship. In learning how to blend a family.
In opening new businesses, and closing down old ones. In climbing all the way to the top professionally, and tumbling all the way back to the bottom. In sacrificing personal and family time, and learning how to make it a priority.
In eating a well-balanced, healthy diet and giving myself permission to splurge on the things I love most (like bacon, burgers, hand-cut french fries & chocolate ice cream!).
In burning the candle at both ends, and reading quietly by a burning candle.
Wellness is a journey into the deepest parts of who we are and encompasses ALL of who we are: physicially, spiritually, emotionally, mentally, financially. It is not defined by the size of our clothes, muscles or bank accounts, but by the happiness we feel, the people we surround ourselves with, and the amazing person we allow ourselves to see when we look in the mirror. It is an experience . . . an adventure . . . a never-ending process of finding, keeping, and regaining balance.
So, given all that, what do I recommend for YOU?
What brings you happiness & back into balance.
Wellness Products & Services
It’s not surprising – with an extensive clinical, nutrition, and fitness background – that I’m asked two things: #1) Do I recommend nutritional products, and #2) If so, which ones?
The answers are simple: #1) YES, and #2) NOT MANY.
There are an infinite number of choices when it comes to nutritional supplementation. But the vast majority of products available on the market today – especially over the counter – are loaded with fillers and chemicals that disrupt the body’s natural capacity to thrive.
I believe in fueling your body with nutritional products that are safe, natural, plant-based, and chelated (easily absorbed).
I believe in maintaining a healthy gut & intestinal system (an issue I’ve personally strugged with throughout my life) and giving your body what it needs to naturally decrease inflammation and promote healing from the inside out.
I believe in evaluating all aspects of one’s life – overall health, digestion, exercise level, personal goals, professional career, stress level, motivation & drive, finances, hobbies, interests, beliefs & more – when designing a personal wellness plan and product program. Everything that makes YOU tick is an integral part of the equation.
You’re not like me and I’m not like you, so why would we be on the exact same plan?
When I guide clients toward a personalized wellness program, it encompasses their whole life. Depending on defined needs and outcomes, it may or may not include specific products and/or the services I offer through The Growth Project™ for Self/Life, It will always encompass clearly defined goals, solid action steps, custom nutrition plans, accountability and wellness resources, fitness referrals & more.
Special interest areas often include:
> Generals health + nutrition
> Performance + recovery
> Weight management (loss or gain)
> Cleansing + gut health
> Good vs. bad foods
> . . . and more!
“Kellie is my trainer, business partner, and friend. She said two things that made me want to have her in my life: #1) She explained how some bodies have a different shape, form or composite than others without tossing out the usual ‘cut carbs or follow this program’ response, and #2) After explaining how – after birthing 6 children in 7 ½ years – I was left with heavy thighs and an out of shape body, she said three words:‘You ARE beautiful.’
I found in Kellie someone who, when I mention a goal or hope to, stores it in her brain and – at the most unexpected moment – will send an encouraging note or text. She is the real deal and I trust what she tells me because she treats me with respect. All the lives touched by her are better and healthier in so many ways. I am thankful to have her in my life.”
Caroline Powell | Stay at Home Mom & Network Marketing Leader | Grand Junction CO